I often don’t write about waterfalls until years after I’ve visited them. I try to hit a variety of different geographical regions along the way, but in the process I often forget about some waterfalls, at least certain details. I remember a bit about Pikes Falls, but other aspects are a bit fuzzy.
I visited in July 2015, and stayed near Stratton Mountain. It’s a beautiful area, though a bit quiet during the summer. On the way out, I had a few waterfalls on my list including Pikes Falls and Hamilton Falls. This was my first stop, as it’s not far from Stratton Mountain. The directions that others give are what tend to throw me off, as I approached it from the opposite direction. I remember the road being narrow but quiet, and I don’t remember there being much difficulty finding the parking area for the falls. I don’t recall much of the surroundings, nor the very short hike. (Sometimes short hikes are nice, but they stick in my head less than the tedious hikes!)
The falls are smaller, though there are definitely a number of different views to be had. Since the hike is easy and short, it’s worth your while to stop if you’re in the area. Otherwise, there are other larger falls in the area. Many people seem to enjoy this waterfall for the pool below, perfect for swimming.
- From VT-100 in Jamaica, turn left on Pikes Falls Road.
- Drive for approximately 2.5 miles. You’ll then veer right over a bridge, staying on Pikes Falls Road.
- After another 2.5 miles, you’ll come to the parking area. It would be on the left if heading west. (There is also apparently a white house very close by, though I don’t recall this.)
- Follow the trail to the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′ (total drop)
Length of Hike: 0.15 miles round-trip
Pikes Falls in July 2015
Where in the World is Pikes Falls?
Hamilton Falls in July 2015
Most of Vermont has rather hilly terrain, and yet there don’t seem to be as many documented/listed waterfalls in southern Vermont as there are in northern and central Vermont. One of the taller waterfalls in southern Vermont is Hamilton Falls. (Two others, Jelly Mill Falls and Pikes Falls, are also easy to visit.)
While it may be a quicker hike from certain parking areas near the falls, the preferred method is starting from Jamaica State Park, and following trails which lead to Hamilton Falls. Please follow posted signs and be extremely careful.
What you’re rewarded with is an approximately 125′ waterfall, though you may not be able to see the top portion very well. I don’t know if this waterfall ever sees a significant amount of water flowing through, the evidence being the very specific way the water has carved through the rock, leaving specific trails for the water to follow. If you like the idea of swimming at the base of a waterfall, this one would be particularly ideal. There were a number of people swimming in the water pool at the base.
- In the Village of Jamaica along VT-100/VT-30, if you’re headed west, turn right onto Depot Street toward Jamaica State Park.
- Park in Jamaica State Park, and then follow the West River Trail (northeast), which follows the West River.
- Follow the West River Trail to the Switch Road Trail, which will lead to the Hamilton Falls Natural Area.
Length of Hike: 3.4 miles round trip
Where in the World is Hamilton Falls?
Jelly Mill Falls (or Old Jelly Mill Falls) isn’t a waterfall that I’d necessarily go out of my way to find. It’s not a particularly tall, wide, or memorable waterfall. Though maybe if I had been feeling better, it would have held a dearer place in my memory…though probably not.
Jelly Mill Falls is right off the road, which is definitely its redeeming quality. I wasn’t even sure I was going to visit the falls until I found out it was directly off of VT-30, which I was driving along anyway to get to my hotel for the night. Once you pull off the road, it’s a very short drive to a “parking area”, which is really just a small area alongside the road. I jumped out of the car and was at the falls in a matter of seconds. There are a number of drops, and it didn’t seem as if any one drop was the most significant. There wasn’t much water flowing over the falls, either, though I’m guessing there would be more in the spring.
If you’re passing by and like to “collect” waterfalls, this might be a good choice. As I’ve read, it also might be a good choice for a quick weekend trip with the family since it’s so easy to access. Still, even though it’s not a particularly tall waterfall, still be careful, especially with younger children.
- From Brattleboro, head northwest along VT-30 North. Drive about 5 miles along VT-30 North.
- After about 5 miles, you’ll come to Stickney Brook Road on your left. Turn left onto this road.
- To your right will be Stickney Brook, which the falls are located on. Find a place to park along the brook there. (If you reach an intersection with another road, then you’ve already gone too far. It’s a very short distance down Stickney Brook Road.)
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: N/A (roadside)
Height: ~8′ for tallest drop
The largest drop I observed for Jelly Mill Falls (in late July 2015)
Where in the World is Jelly Mill Falls?